IWF World Weightlifting Championships

The IWF World Weightlifting Championships is the sport’s flagship event with the first edition being held in London in 1891.  Athletes currently compete in a total of 15 weight categories – eight for men and seven for women – with the most recent World Championships taking place in Houston in 2015. China topped the medal table in the American city with six overall golds and also head the all-time standings. Although held annually, the weightlifting competitions held during the Olympics are classed as the World Championships every four years. Individual World Championships were held for women from 1987 to 1990, but since 1991, the men’s and women’s World Championships have been staged side-by-side. Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev, the late Soviet super heavyweight class lifter, who competed at three Olympic Games from 1972 to 1980, holds the record for the number of World Championship gold medals with eight.

The Soviet Union's Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev is the most successful competitor in the history of the World Weightlifting Championships with a total of eight gold medals ©Getty Images
The Soviet Union's Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev is the most successful competitor in the history of the World Weightlifting Championships with a total of eight gold medals ©Getty Images

IWF Junior World Championships

The first men’s IWF Junior World Championships was held in Marseille, France, in 1975. Twenty years later, the first women’s edition took place alongside the 21st men’s event in Warsaw, Poland, and did so again in 1996. In 2015, the combined World Championships returned to Poland for the first time since then, taking place in Wroclaw. China topped the men’s medal table with seven golds and the women’s equivalent with 10.

FISU World University Championships

Weightlifting entered the programme of the biennial FISU World University Championships in 2008 with the first edition held in Komotini, Greece. It attracted 159 weightlifters from 32 countries and since then three further editions have taken place in Taichung, Taiwan; Eilat, Israel and Chiang Mai, Thailand.


The FISU World University Championships for weightlifting is held every two years ©YouTube
The FISU World University Championships for weightlifting is held every two years ©YouTube

IWF Youth World Championships

The IWF Youth World Championships was first hosted by Chiang Mai in Thailand in 2009 and served as the main qualification event for the inaugural edition of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Held for lifters aged up to 17 years, a further four editions have since taken place, the latest being in 2015 in Peru’s capital Lima.